Starting on the wrong foot.
Growing up, there was this moment in time when I became old enough to understand that being visibly identifiable as part of a minority was considered to be some sort of handicap.
I remember how me and my friends (also from diverse backgrounds for most of them) used to also laugh about it. It was so embedded in society that it was totally fine to “make fun” of people who are perceived as being different, that we were laughing along with them, of course not grasping the irony of the situation.
Humour is very embedded in many cultures, and as many of us, I love to crack a good joke every now and then.
I had noticed that self-derision was particularly popular, and I was pretty good at it. For many years it was my way of unconsciously seeking other people’s acceptance and had the feeling that it was working. I was perceived as funny, and in an awkward way, beyond the “racial tabou”.
I am always amazed at how malleable we, human beings, are. We adapt to so many unbelievable situations in order to survive, to be seen, to be socially accepted, and we often don’t even know that we are, that things could be different, that a norm is just a concept.
Looking at the world today from an adult and a parent perspective, I see how harmful this dynamic is, and I actively fight it. I still love to laugh but mockery, even when self inflicted is harmful. I try to share this experience with the people around me every time I get an opportunity to do so and I invite everyone to do the same so we can all rise our levels of consciousness and focus on growing stronger together.